Chariots A Fire

Mastering the French shopping cart is not for the weak minded. After sticking in your Euro to rent a chariot that is immediately refundable when you bring the thing back (a method that eliminates trolly litter in a car park), you are in control … or so you think. Each wheel moves independently. In America, the two back wheels are fixed while the front two are there for steering. The second you take hold of these French beasts, your inner geek screams “vector math” as do geeks within a two meter radius. “Don’t you know vector maths?” they’ll crow. Watching the chariots maneuver their way around (pronounce that sultry starting with a breathy ‘eh’) it’s like taking part in 2009 Nascar Sprint Cup championship mixed with driving in New York in the twenties. The chariots are on fire. They’re everywhere. Do we pass on the right? The left? What, you want to get to the yogurt? No one knows what’s going on. After a bit of sweat and groceries in hand (mmm a special on fois gras!), heading back to your car uphill is no laughing matter. Some push the car sideways with a half smoked fag out of the mouth. Others struggle to align the cart so that with a steady forceful push it arrives perfectly to the car. Some forget the cart entirely. Using the little hand held/rolly basket inside, dodging vehement chariots then carrying the stuff to the car thus shopping more frequently. Me? I park in direct line with the front door of the shop. Simple, easy, no stress. I pop on my sunnies (that’s sunglasses to the Americans) in the light-up-your-cigarette exit compartment and away I go. Up, Up UP to my car then returning to collect my Euro.

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